The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pakistan for stronger trade ties with India

Mumbai/Calcutta, May 13: The Indian Merchants Chamber today hosted an interactive session with four Pakistani parliamentarians and Indian businessmen in its endeavour to open a line of communication.

The leader of the Pakistani delegation, Saleem Jan Mazari called for a union between India, Pakistan and Bangladesh similar to that of the European Union. “If we join forces our domestic market would be much bigger than China and we will command more respect.”

Mazari said the issue of Kashmir is omnipresent while discussing Indo-Pak relations. “We want to know from the governments what is the political solution.” Listing the differences between the two nations, he said candidly that the respective governments are unable to explain or solve the differences.

“Kashmir cannot be solved by war,” he said. Joint patrolling along the line-of-control or even getting a neutral non-partisan body to monitor the line-of-control were some of the suggestions put forth by Mazari.

Meanwhile, a group of Pakistan National Assembly members felt the need for personal level interaction between the business communities of India and Pakistan to help increase bilateral trade. The group identified a huge potential for trade between the two countries in tea, copper and textiles, besides tourism and cultural ties.

“The best thing that can happen under the present circumstances is chamber to chamber interaction,” Muslim League (Qaid-e-Azam) member M. P. Bhandara said at an interaction with select senior members of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Calcutta.

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